New bathroom bill in Texas may spark North Carolina-like outrage

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    A new bill unveiled Thursday in Texas that would ban transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice has top Republicans eager to bring a fight, and businesses preparing for possible boycotts in the nation’s largest conservative state.

    The “Texas Privacy Act” requires all Texas residents to use the bathroom or locker room according to the gender on their birth certificates and prohibits local governments from passing ordinances designed to protect gay rights in public restrooms and other “intimate settings.”

    “It’s the right thing to do,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Houston Republican who oversees the state Senate and quoted Martin Luther King Jr. while promoting the proposal at the Texas Capitol. “The people of Texas elected us to stand up for common sense, common decency and public safety.”

    Bill sponsor Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, a Republican from rural Brenham, said her “thoughtful and unique” bill won’t create a “bathroom police” and will allow anyone to lodge complaints upon seeing something in public restrooms that makes them uncomfortable. She added the bill was written “not to start a controversy but to end one.”

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